Brand Innovator For Pepsi and Ebay: William C. Cobb, W’78

Pepsico, Inc., the food and drink industry mega-giant, is known for building brands such as Pepsi, Pizza Hut, and Doritos and growing marketing talent like Bill Cobb.

Cobb emerged in the 1990s as one of PepsiCo’s pedigree marketers who proved his ability to innovate, build brands, and globally market and expand the restaurant franchise business. As vice president of new business for the soft drink division, Cobb forged the way for PepsiCo in the new-age beverage race against the Coca-Cola Company with the launch of Aquafina Water and the Pepsi/Starbucks Coffee partnership for ready-to-drink coffee products.

Soon after he was the appointed the chief marketing officer and senior vice president for Pizza Hut—the world’s largest pizza chain and third-largest restaurant business—he put the sizzle back into pizza. Cobb next took his brand-building passion international, where as senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Tricon Restaurants International, he drove the aggressive international expansion of Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell.

In 2000, Cobb moved to the online innovator eBay as senior vice president of global marketing, responsible for eBay’s branding and marketing activities worldwide, including advertising, promotions, direct marketing, partner relationships, business development, and Internet marketing.

His brand-building journey again headed international when Cobb, as the senior vice president of eBay International, drove the company’s global expansion from 2002 to 2004, resulting in eBay’s on-the-ground presence today in 33 countries. Currently, Cobb is the president of eBay Marketplaces North America, where he oversees the marketing, strategic planning, and business development for all of eBay’s North American businesses. This includes eBay.com, eBay Canada, eBay Motors, Shopping.com, Rent.com, and StubHub. Cobb continues to live consumer marketing, brand-building, and innovation and is the champion of the eBay community, the buyers and sellers around the world who trade with each other.

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